February 25, 2020
John Vomhof Jr.Staff Writer
For months, Prince Moyo would get up and go to work, thenreturn home to his quiet two-bedroom apartment in Dallas. He was alone, with hisfamily half a world away.
Prince’s fiancée, Bee, had been trying to come to the United States to be with him, but a lengthy visa application process kept her in their native South Africa. And, in the meantime, the couple had welcomed their first child, making the separation even more trying.
“It was a long wait, trying to make sure we were a completefamily — instead of one on one side [of the world] and one on the other side,”said Prince, the operations manager at our Best Buy distribution center inFlower Mound, Texas.
Now, the family is finally together. After Bee’s visaapplication was approved in early January, Prince flew to Johannesburg. He returnedon Feb. 6 with her and their 8-month-old son, Jay, in tow.
“It was a dream come true,” Prince said.
And it’s a journey he says he couldn’t have gotten through withoutthe support of his Best Buy family.
A long wait
Prince and Bee met at church before he moved to the U.S. in 2008, and they stayed in touch by chatting via a messaging app. They started dating about three years ago, with Prince returning to South Africa to visit every six months.
They got engaged in September 2018 and immediately startedmaking plans for Bee to move to the U.S. She applied for a K-1 (fiancée) visa,and they expected the approval process to take about six to eight months. Butthe wait dragged on much longer.
In October 2018, they found out Bee was pregnant. The coupleheld a traditional wedding ceremony with their families the following February,but the legal ceremony had to be put on hold because they were in the middle ofthe visa process.
Prince took a seven-week leave of absence from his job at BestBuy so he could be in South Africa for his son’s birth last June. He stayeduntil Jay was about 20 days old, then returned to Dallas alone.
The weeks that followed passed slowly for Prince, whostruggled with having to “parent remotely” and miss so many milestones from Jay’sfirst year. Bee adjusted her schedule, sleeping during the day so she couldhelp Prince stay connected with Jay at night. She sent videos from Jay’s doctorappointments so Prince could feel like he was there. And she shared numerousphotos, which Prince was always eager to share with his Best Buy co-workers.
“I was that guy who would be showing you each and everypicture, because I was getting pictures almost every hour,” he said.
Throughout that time, the distribution center’s leaderswould check in on Prince regularly to see how the visa process was going and tomake sure he was aware of the company benefits that might help. They alsooffered him schedule flexibility so he could meet with his attorney as theyprepared for Bee and Jay arrive.
“It was very hard, but I really appreciated the company thatI work for and the support from the senior leadership team,” Prince said. “Theywere very invested in my story, and they were making sure they wereaccommodating me as much they could. I don’t think I could have done it withoutthat support.”
A supportive family
The day after the family landed in the U.S., Prince broughtBee and Jay to the distribution center so they could meet his co-workers, whohelped get him through the hardest days.
“Just to go see where he works and feel the love from thepeople he works with, I felt like they are family,” Bee said. “I felt like Ihad known them way before I even met them.”
It was a special day for everyone involved.
“It was so cool. It was really emotional,” said ChaseChristman, the distribution center’s senior general manager. “All of ourleaders and team members were excited to see that. … You could tell when hestepped foot in the building, he was lighter.”
Meanwhile, Prince and his family are adjusting to what it’slike to live together for the first time. The biggest challenge has been forBee and Jay to adjust to the time change, an eight-hour difference between Dallasand Johannesburg. Jay still wakes up — singing — at around 3 a.m. every day.
They’re happy to be sharing those moments together. And theyhave more big moments planned, as Prince and Bee are planning to get legallymarried in April. She’ll then be able to apply for a green card, which wouldgrant her permanent residency.
“Pinch me. I still feel like I’m dreaming, and I’m going to wakeup and be back in South Africa,” Bee said. “It’s been amazing. It was worth thewait.”
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